By Brett Smiley
August 15, 2013
Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays

Rays manager Joe Maddon outdid all his previous mood-lightening efforts today when he had Asia, a 20' python from Busch Gardens, brought into the team's clubhouse. What distinguished this particular visitor from past Maddon guests, which have included an adorable penguin, a magician, and a merengue band, is that it was a doggone 20' python. Nevertheless, Fernando Rodney (left), Yunel Escobar and Luke Scott appeared unfazed alongside the clearly-tickled Maddon.

Tampa Bay Times writer Marc Topkin captured the exquisite athlete-reptile meet and greet:

Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays

Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays

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